Anthony Joshua has been working with Irish heavyweight prospect Thomas Carty who has been trying to replicate Oleksandr Usyk’s style in sparring.
Joshua has flown out to Saudi Arabia with exactly one week to go until his huge heavyweight rematch with Usyk at the Jeddah Super Dome in Saudi Arabia. ‘AJ’ has been working hard for several months on a detailed revenge plan after being dominated by Usyk who grabbed his unified crown last September.
He has been training alongside a number of fighters at his new Loughborough University including Frazer Clarke and Carty, with the latter sparring with the former two-time champion. And the Irishman believes he has learned a great deal to use in his own career with the high levels of preparation Joshua has shown during camp.
“It’s the intensity, that’s what makes the difference,” he told Sky Sports. “They all train with a great level of intensity. What struck me with Joshua is how much training he does, how hard he trains. Like that, there’s no secret to what he was doing. He was just doing a lot of training a lot of the time and then recovering really well. Joshua really lives the life.
“I was asked to do my thing and whatever I naturally do to replicate Usyk they were happy with, there was nothing forced upon me to do this move, or that move. They just wanted me to be myself, be comfortable and be as competitive and good as I could be and that’s what I did.
“It was a really enjoyable experience, and I emphasise surreal because Anthony Joshua, two-time heavyweight champion of the world, is a guy that me and my mates go watch on the telly all the time, every time that he’s fighting, then all of a sudden you’re being brought in to help him prepare.”
Joshua struggled to cope with Usyk’s tricky and fluid style during their maiden meeting, with the Ukrainian able to box his way to victory and even threaten a stoppage late on. ‘AJ’ has since parted ways with long-term trainer Rob McCracken and has been working with Angel Fernandez and new addition Robert Garcia.
Garcia has been working with Joshua since the turn of the year after arriving in the UK initially in secret to help the heavyweight formulate his new revenge bid. The American trainer’s former fighter Mikey, who has also watched Joshua train, believes the star is well equipped to make a turnaround next weekend.
“My Dad and I were watching [Joshua train], we gave some opinions and [Joshua] was paying close attention to whatever my Dad and I had to say, and Robert,” he told FightHype. “I feel ‘AJ’ has everything to win the fight. But when you look at what he brings to the ring, AJ has everything you need to beat a fighter like Usyk. I think he should win and it should be a good fight.”